Christmas Parade

Correct, it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but we’re having the Christmas Parade. On its traditional route down Hillsborough and then Fayetteville Street, the Christmas Parade can be relied upon to warm hearts and freeze toes.

Some people arrive early and brave the cold and drizzly weather, while other come later and only admire the tallest balloons floating over the heads of people standing in front of them.

The parade is from 10:00-12:00, and is taking place for the 69th time. (And if you don’t like rain – the parade is also broadcast live on WRAL.)

National Train Day in Selma and Cary (Sat 5/11)



Amtrak celebrates National Train Day this Saturday, and there are two ways to participate:



  • First, you can drive to Cary, where a quite large event is taking place in the downtown depot. Even better, you could take the (short) ride on the Amtrak from Raleigh to Cary; leave Raleigh at 11:45am and get back at 3:11pm, about 15 minutes on the train each way. Train fare $11/adult.
    The event has a Chuggington exhibit, model trains and free train whistles, live music, hot dogs, and other things that get rail fans excited.
  • Secondly, you can take the train to Selma, where National Train Day is a major event for this  quaint Eastern Piedmont town. For this trip, you would leave Raleigh at 10:25am and get back at 4:42pm, and spend closer to 40 minutes on the train each way. (You could of course also drive to Selma.) Train fare $16/adult.
    Selma’s event is probably a bit smaller, but not any less exciting, with a live band, food vendors, kids activities and so on. There will also be trains arriving and departing while you’re there, going to far-away places like New York or Savannah.

If you’re planning to take the train to one of these events, let me know.

Mardi Gras Warm-up Party (Feb 2013)

While the Daddy Weekly distinctly focuses on Downtown Raleigh, every once in a while, a trip to Durham is worthwhile. And when two big names – Motorco and Scrap Exchange – work together, some good usually comes out of it.

This Saturday from 4-6, Motorco in Durham is hosting a Mardi Grad costume making party. Costume making supplies are provided FREE OF CHARGE from Scrap Exchange.

The Blue Tailed Skins will play. There will be fun.

Later that day, at 8, a similar event is held for the grown-ups.

MotorCo, Durham, Saturday 4-6. With ScrapExchange.

First Friday at Marbles – Valentine Design (2/2/13)

With Valentine Day coming up shortly, it time to start crafting all those cards for your loved ones. Marbles is always open late on First Fridays (and has a drop-off program as well so that parents can visit a few galleries or enjoy a quiet dinner).

But if your mind more on creating art than viewing art, head over to Marbles, and use their craft stations on the second floor to create a heart-felt, hand-made card.

Valentine's Day 2005 by Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library, used under the CC BY-NC-SA license_resized_edited

Valentine’s Day 2005 by Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library, used under the CC BY-NC-SA license

Daddy Daughter Dance (2/2/2013)

Preparation is everything, and with my own daughter quickly graduating from crawling to pulling up and jumping, I had to start looking into this whole Daddy Daughter Dance thing.

There are several Daddy Daughter Dances in the area, the biggest one being the Triangle Father Daughter Dance this Saturday from 6-9p. It is held at Marbles, but not directly related to or organized by the museum.

More information and tickets are available at; it is $40 for a dad/daughter, and slightly more for dads blessed with more than one daughter. You can also make a donation so that a girl who does not have a father in her life can attend as a “Special Princess”.

The Triangle Father-Daughter Dance is not affiliated with any specific religious view and open to father/daughters of all races and ages (girls can be from 2 to adult).

Daddy Daughter Dance

Daddy Daughter Dance by Jamie Wallace, used under the CC BY-NC license

(On Jamie’s blog I learned that a Daddy Daughter Dance is “basically an hour and half of cardio in a suit” – good to know, haven’t thought of that!

Three Kings Day Parade (1/6/2013)

Reyes Magos Parade (c) Diamante Inc. (DSC01401)_squareWith Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa over (not to forget Winter Solstice and Festivus), the “holidays” and all their diverse festivities are slowly coming to an end… but one more is still due: Dia de los Reyes Magos (or Twelfth Night, or Dreikönigstag) is celebrated on Jan-6 in regions of the world with a strong Catholic influence (Spain, Mexico, Italy, parts of Germany and Switzerland) and marks the day when the Three Kings arrived at the birth place of Jesus. For kids in Spain or Mexico, this is actually the holiday, since gifts are given on Three Kings’ Day, and not on Christmas.

There are not many public celebrations of Three Kings Day around here, but one nice event that stands out is the Three Kings Day Parade at Cary’s Bond Park, which drew over 1,000 visitors last year. If you’re up for one last winter holiday head out there on Saturday from 1p-4p.

The image is from a previous parade and (c) Diamante Inc.

Ride with Santa on New Hope Valley Railway (12/9/2012)

If you’ve heard about the holiday train at Pullen Park and are still thinking about going, you will probably keep thinking: Tickets are completely sold out for the entire duration. But a good alternative would be the New Hope Valley Railway, which also has rides with Santa this weekend. They are also sold out, but are holding a limited number of walk-in tickets. Make sure you read details before taking the half-hour-drive. (My suggestion would be to get there before or right at 10 a.m., and be prepared to not get tickets for the very first ride. (There is enough to see during the wait…)

Veterans Parade (11/11/2012)

The parade season is upon us, with the Veterans parade this weekend, and the “Christmas parade” (Christmas in November?) one week later. Here some tips from the Daddy for an enjoyable parade:

– Bundle up! Saturday will be sunny and not too cold, but you’ll be standing around for a while. If you’re not hauling lawn chairs, bring a thick insulating something to keep bottoms warm.
– Arrive early! The Veterans parade will not have as much spectators as the Christmas parade, but still.
– If you must drive, use the Alexander Square Parking deck. You enter (by car) from Wilmington St., but you exit (on foot) right onto Fayetteville. If you stay on that block, you and a screaming baby will be back in the car in a matter of minutes. You could even view the parade from the parking deck, but there are no safe, comfortable viewpoints for the littlest ones (30″ concrete wall and don’t even think about sitting them on the railing).
– Bring water and snacks. It would be too bad to give up your coveted perfect spot just to buy some overpriced bottled water. But in any case: The CVS at the corner of Fayetteville and Hargett has everything from water to food to diapers.

The parade starts at 9:30am by City Plaza and then goes up Fayetteville towards the State Capitol (opposite direction to most parades). A wreath laying ceremony at 11:00am and a static display of the parade with music are also planned.

Patriotism by abbyladybug, used under the CC BY-NC license

The image is Patriotism by abbyladybug and used under the CC BY-NC license. Thanks, Abby!

Can I just skip Halloween? (10/31/2012)

I’m sorry, no you can’t. Unless you stay home and hide, which may not be the worst plan given the rainy weekend forecast.

This weekend, you can pretty much go to any of your favorite hangouts and expect to find a Halloween-themed happening. Long-time readers will know that I often have outdoorsy, or science-y, or artsy, so here one event for each of these three categories:

Let’s start with the outdoorsy stuff: There is a haunted hike on Tuesday at Jordan Lake State Park; walk the 1/2 mile trail anytime between 7p-10p and meet real (and not-so-real) nighttime creatures.

New Hope Valley Railroad does haunted rides this Saturday at 4p, 5:15p, 6:30p and 7:45p. (The 7:45p ride not for small kids, I read.)

The NC Symphony is playing spooktacular music at 1p and 4p. Show up early to try out some classical instruments yourself.

Then there is a new event, Raleigh Living Dead taking place on City Plaza. The website states it is for all ages (before 8p at least) and it does have kids activities, but all the grown-ups walking around in zombie costumes might be a little bit too much. Tickets are $10, and $5 for kids.